Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - CNRP backing wage demand

CNRP backing wage demand

CNRP backing wage demand

The opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party has firmly backed a union-led push for a $177 minimum wage in the Kingdom’s garment sector.

However, party leaders have suggested that they will not encourage mass strikes and protests this time around, in contrast to December, when workers demonstrating for a doubling of their minimum wage coalesced with an opposition-led campaign to unseat Prime Minister Hun Sen.

During that politically tense period, the party urged workers to continue striking until their demands were met.

“Out [of] or in parliament the CNRP continues to fully support the workers’ demand for a decent minimum wage,” party leader Sam Rainsy told the Post yesterday, adding that if firms stopped paying bribes to government officials, they could afford $177 “without jeopardising their competitiveness”.

“There will be [a] mass strike only at the last resort. We will do our best to prevent violence,” Rainsy went on to say.

The government blamed the opposition for having “incited” violent protests in January that saw at least five workers shot dead by authorities and millions in factory losses.

CNRP public affairs head Mu Sochua said the party was looking for a “win-win situation” for all stakeholders this time, and would push for a free and peaceful “climate of dialogue”.

“We have to learn from the past experience where lives of workers were lost, military police forces [were] used, and no independent investigation conducted,” she said.

But some unionists yesterday remained wary of overt CNRP involvement in their campaign.

“He is a lawmaker, so he has the right to join or walk out with the unions and workers to demand the minimum wage,” Collective Union of Movement of Workers president Pav Sina said of Rainsy. “But for me I think he should stay at the National Assembly to demand the wage for the workers in order to avoid [allowing] the other party to accuse us of being involved with the opposition party.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Government set to slash holidays

    The private sector has welcomed the government’s move to reduce the number of public holidays in the in the Kingdom – known for having the most public holidays in the world – by seven days. However, the government had just added the “Day of Remembrance” on

  • Kith Theang being held in PJ prison

    Kith Theang, the brother of prominent businessman Kith Meng, was charged by Phnom Penh Municipal Court late on Monday and sent to the capital’s Police Judiciare (PJ) prison over the nearly 50kg of drugs found in a February 23 raid by authorities on the Rock

  • ‘Kingdom lacks up to 400MW in available electricity’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has called on the general public, hoteliers and businesspeople with generators to use them as back-up as the Electricity Authority of Cambodia cannot generate enough electricity to meet needs due to low water levels in power station reservoirs. On Saturday evening

  • Sor Chandeth defends his criticism of Hun Sen

    Former senator Sor Chandeth has defended his choice of words when criticising Hun Sen, saying he was merely speaking metaphorically to attack the Prime Minister’s political life, not his actual person, as the latter seeks damages. [img] Chandeth spoke to The Post on Thursday,